The Stream, October 17: Chile Mine Charged With Water Violations

The Global Rundown

A large copper mine in Chile may be suspended, closed, or fined for improperly managing water. It has been a year since the Samarco tailings dam failure in Brazil, but environmental and social challenges persist. Floods in Vietnam killed nearly a dozen people last week, and more storms are on the way. A sharp decline in hydropower generation in France is contributing to high electricity prices. A Native American group is walking the entire length of the Potomac River to express care for the water and raise awareness about pollution.

“All Samarco’s effort is focused on a return to its activities and not on society and environmental recuperation.” –Carlos Pinto, the coordinator of a group of environmental prosecutors in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, speaking about the company responsible for a mining dam failure a year ago that killed more than a dozen people and polluted the Rio Doce. The collapse of the tailings dam is considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

11 people Number killed in floods in central Vietnam over the weekend. Flood waters also inundated 30,000 homes and stranded trains and flights. Reuters

652 kilometers Length of the Potomac River from its source in West Virginia to its mouth in Chesapeake Bay. Representatives of Native American communities are walking the river’s entire route to recognize the spirit of the water and raise awareness about pollution. The Washington Post

Science, Studies, And Reports

The amount of electricity generated from hydropower in France is expected to reach a 10-year low this month, according to the Pira Energy Group. The drop in production is contributing to high power prices in the country, where nuclear generation has also declined. Bloomberg

On The Radar

The Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile faces suspension, closure, or millions of dollars in fines if it is found guilty of nine alleged environmental violations. Government regulators last Thursday charged the mine for extracting water from unauthorized locations and building unauthorized wells. Reuters